Jawor Castle was originally a wooden stronghold until Duke Bolesław the Tall built a stone tower house. The castle has been a seat of both the Piast dynasty and the Duchy of Jawor-Świdnica. Several politically significant events took place in the castle during the Middle Ages. In 1648, the castle saw damage when it was besieged by soldiers loyal to the Holy Roman Empire, but it was renovated later during the same century (1663-65). Another renovation was carried out in 1705, when the clock tower was repaired.
Later during the 18th century, Frederick the Great converted the castle into a prison, a role which it would keep until 1956. Until 1821, it also housed an asylum for mentally ill. After 1888, the hitherto all-male prison became an all-female prison, and stayed in this capacity until 1945. During World War II, it was used as such also by the German authorities who among others imprisoned several French women here. A memorial commemorating them has been erected in the castle courtyard. After 1945, it housed political prisoners and former soldiers of the Home Army.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.